- LeBron James said of Lionel Messi, "He's awesome. He's totally awesome," when asked about the Barcelona star on Tuesday. Photo: fcbarcelona.com
- James is seen posing with Messi when the former visited the FC Barcelona training camp in 2011. Photo: fcbarcelona.com
- James and Messi may look vastly different, but they both rule their respective sports. Photo: fcbarcelona.com
- James also took the time to pose with Messi's teammates. Photo: fcbarcelona.com
- Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his second goal against AC Milan during their Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona March 12, 2013. Photo: Albert Gea / Reuters
- Messi scored the first two goals and led Barcelona to a historic comeback. Photo: Getty Images
- In the mean time, LeBron was at the top of his game as he led the Miami Heat to their 19th straight win, the best winning streak in the NBA this year. Photo: AP in English
- Despite the strain on his face, LeBron is enjoying himself. Photo: AP in English
One is widely recognized as the best soccer player in the world (four last Ballon d'Or awards). The other, undoubtedly the best basketball player on the planet (three of last four NBA MVPs).
They play on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean, in vastly different leagues and they couldn’t look more different – one barely measures 5’7” and comes in at less than 148 lbs. The other is a more than a foot taller (6’8”) and more than 100 lbs heavier (268lbs.)
While Messi was revindicating himself with a masterful performance for FC Barcelona against AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday (2 goals), LeBron James was leading his Miami Heat to its 19th straight win against the Atlanta Hawks.
James, who owns part of Liverpool, was asked about his Messi after the Heat’s latest win and the reigning MVP did not hold back on his praise.
“He’s awesome. He’s totally awesome,” James told the Associated Press, after marveling at how Messi could control the game on a field so much larger than a basketball court.
Although James stopped short of comparing himself to Messi – “I’ve never compared myself to him” – he did say he saw similarities between himself and the Argentine.
When asked by an AP Reporter if “(Messi) is the soccer version of LeBron?”
“Is he?” LeBron asked, repeating the question. “I’ll let you decide.”
The two have crossed paths on occasion over the years, with both Messi and James playing and winning gold in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and James visiting Messi and his teammates in Barcelona in 2011.